Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Friday, January 5, 2007

Personal Productivity: The Best Tools And Services From Sharewood

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Personal productity tools and online services are increasingly taken over physical consumer electronic tools and downloadable utilities. Nonetheless there will always be space for the latter two, it is indeed an outstanding fact that with the advent of what is being labelled Web 2.0, the number and variety of these tools has grown exponentially.

Photo credit: James Thew

Here is my selection of some of my preferred personal productivity tools from the over 560 mini-reviews Master New Media has brought to you in this past year through our weekly Sharewood Picnics feature.

Personal Productivity Tools

  1. Online file converter allows you to upload and convert all the most popular files without any software: Zamzar

    Zamzar is a service that allows conversion between a wide variety of different file formats. When converting more than one file, Zamzar gives you the option to download all your files in a compressed zipped format. Once downloaded you can unpack your compressed zip file that contains all your converted files. Generally this file is 25% smaller than downloading all your individual files. Zamzar currently stores converted files for a 24 hour period. Check out conversion types ( Free to use.

  2. Reading software improves your capability to read on the computer screen: ReadPal
    ReadPal is a software that facilitates reading on the computer screen. ReadPal extracts the text from any document and displays it to you in a format that is both easier and faster to read. ReadPal automatically displays the text in the format that you have chosen. Downloading ReadPal costs €31.62 but the software is available for free trial on the website.

  3. Web-based spell-checking application that lets you spell correct from any operative system: Orangoo
    Orangoo is a web-based application that lets you spell correct from any system or computer that has Internet access. Orangoo provides spell check in 27 languages and it partially uses the Google spell checker and Aspell. The source code is free, so users can place it in their own Web applications. Free to use.

  4. Clearinghouse for best freeware, shareware and open-source software: Freeware Home
    Freeware Home is an online indexed collection of all freeware, open-source and shareware tools available out there. All of the software is categorized by subjects (business, education, graphics, internet, etc). In each category you can find:
    • a brief description of the tool

    • the author

    • system requirements for downloading

    • file size

    • a reader-based rating

    A full search facility is available and anyone can submit directly new software for inclusion. Windows and UNIX/Linux programs only. Free to use.

  5. Best open-source and free software apps for Windows PCs and Macs: OpenSourceWindows and OpenSourceMac
    Open Source Windows and Open Source Mac are two simple lists cataloguing some of the best free and open source software for Windows and for the Mac. These lists do not try to be a comprehensive listing of every open-source application available out there, but rather attempt at showcasing the best, most important, and easiest to use tools among the hundreds available. This human edited catalog is intended as a handy reference for getting more people to start using free and open-source software.

  6. Online community identifies and reports computer programs that enable you to carry around your applications on any portable device: Portable Apps
    PortableApps is a community site devoted to the reporting and promotion of portable applications. A portable app is a computer program that you can carry around with you on a portable device like an USB flash drive or an iPod and use on any Windows computer. When your portable device is plugged in, you have access to your software and personal data just as you would on your own PC. Applications on PortableApps can be downloaded for free.

  7. Zero footprint projectable portable keyboard: Laser Projection Keyboard CL800BT
    By means of a laser, the Laserkey CL800BT projects a full-scale keyboard (layout measuring approx. 241 x 106 mm) equipped with a mouse feature onto any opaque, flat surface. Keystrokes are recognized and then relayed via an invisible infrared layer combined with an optical sensor. This keyboard is the perfect solution for PDAs, cell phones, smart phones, web-pads and tablet PC'.This keyboard is Wireless (Bluetooth Interface), small and easy to carry around. It is compatible with Palm OS, Windows Mobile 2003/SE and Windows 2000/XP. Price: $199,99

  8. Telephone interfaceable automatic recording devices: DynaMetric
    DynaMetric Inc. is a leader in telephone accessories and telephone interfacing technology. Among its products there are two in particular: the first is Call Saver Pro, which allows users record their calls on their PC or any network drive, automatically or on demand; the second one is DynaMetric's NEW Digital Audio Recording Kit, a tool that features up to 48 hours of recording time and up to 512MB of file storage. Call Saver Pro price ranges from $144.95 to $185.95 (depending on the adapter) and it is designed to run on Windows 98/ME/2000/XP; DynaMetric's new Digital Audio Recording Kit comes with 128MB data storage (256MB & 512MB also available) and supports both PCs and Macs.

  9. Generator of identification numbers for all things digital to protect your copyrights: Numly
    Numly assigns electronic serial numbers for all things digital. These unique identifiers provide digital rights management capabilities as well as third-party measures for proof of copyright via real-time verifications. Numly Numbers are simple and quick to generate and they act as an electronic timestamp for copyright purposes. They can also be used to digitally certify email. Numly numbers also allow you to track content viewership, monitor ratings, and can be used as permalinks. Numly Numbers costs are currently free.

  10. Talking translator enables you to translate any text sentence into a spoken phrase in another language of choice: Polly Glotto
    Polly Glotto is a website that provides a text-to-speech translator. Polly Glotto reads and translates text to into 11 different languages (English, Dutch, Chinese, Catalan, Italian, Greek, French, German, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Swedish): you only need to select a language among the provided ones and type in the text you want to be translated. The service is completely free to use.

  11. Set up simple web-based to-do lists to organize your tasks within your team: iPrioritize
    iPrioritize is a web-based service that lets you set up simple to-do lists to organize your tasks. You can drag tasks up and down as your priorities change, mark items complete when you finish. You can access your lists anytime and anywhere, because you simply need an internet connection. iPrioritize allows you to print, email, subscribe via RSS, and view lists on your mobile phone. iPrioritize offers a free account and a business account coming at $10/month or $100/year (check out the features of both accounts). Free to use.

  12. Text-to-mp3 conversion tool: MT1
    MT1 is a text-to-voice tool that translates textual files (email, MS Word documents) into audio files that can be listened to on a PDA, iPod or other portable audio device. Produced by Irish company MagneticTime, MT1 replays your documents to you in "natural sounding voices" such as the soothing sampled female voice that greets visitors to the MT1 website. Text files submitted to MT1 are exported as standard .mp3 files. However, it is not a one-product-fits-all program, meaning that different versions exist to support iPods, PDAs or cell phones. Currently supporting only English language documents on Windows PCs, MT1 is available for about €34 ($40 USD) or for a free, limited-time trial
  13. .

  14. Create your own online desktop and access it from any computer: CosmoPOD
    CosmoPOD allows you to create your own online desktop and access it from any computer. Once you have signed up for an account, you download a small application that provides you with the means to connect your online desktop. Once you've logged into your desktop, you'll see a list of applications, among which there is an office suite that allows you to work with Word and Excel documents seamlessly. The free ad-supported version of CosmoPOD gives you a free email, 1GB online storage, a full office suite, an instant messenger and much more. CosmoPOD requires registration and download. CosmoPOD client is available for Windows, Linux, Mac OS, Solaris, PlayStation 2 and iPAQ. Free to use.

  15. Download massive amounts of images, videos, audio, executables or documents from any website: WebRipper
    WebRipper is a free downloadable software tool that allows you to automatically download large amounts of images, videos, audio, executables or documents from any website unattended. You don't need to waste your time clicking the links and saving every file manually. WebRipper is compatible with Windows. Free download.

  16. Web-based word processor that can read and write Microsoft Word and other standard document formats: ajaxWrite
    ajaxWrite is a web-based word processor that can read and write Microsoft Word and other standard document formats. ajaxWrite also handles all the popular document formats so it's easy to share your files and collaborate with your co-workers and friends. Once finished with your document, you can easily save your work right to your hard drive. ajaxWrite works from a Firefox
  17. web browser on any operating system and on any device. Free to use.

  18. Web-based application that helps you build online forms: Wufoo
    Wufoo is an Internet application that helps you build online forms. You can create a mailing list, a contact form, a marketing survey or even a complete customer management system. When you design a form with Wufoo, it automatically builds the database, backend and scripts needed to make collecting and understanding your data easily. Forms are hosted by Wufoo, therefore all you need is a browser and an Internet connection. Free to use.

  19. Create almost any kind of web forms, including multi-page forms and forms with conditional questions: The Form Assembly
    The Form Assembly is a service that allows you to create almost any kind of forms, including multi-page forms and forms with conditional questions. The Form Assembly can host the form for you and give you a personal web address. This form processing service is not designed to safely process credit card information. The Form Assembly is free. If you want to also process submitted responses, the site provides both free and paid plans. See our plan comparison page for more information.

  20. Manage your Google Calendar offline directly from your desktop: Calgoo
    Calgoo is a software that allows you to manage your Google Calendar offline. Your calendars and schedules are brought to the desktop where you can easily search, filter and organize them. Calgoo synchronizes your Google Calendar information with your desktop for easy offline access and will be soon available for mobile devices. Calgoo improves calendar sharing and makes it easier for you to collaborate with your friends, colleagues, family and social groups. Free download.

  21. Web-based tool that allows you to manage projects, track time and monitor your activities: MyTicklerFile
    MyTicklerFile is a web-based tool that allows you to manage projects, track time and monitor your activities. You can create and receive reminders on your mobile phone via text message and sync projects and time tracking with iCal. Export project data to csv file. Take a look at the subscription plans available. MyTicklerFile officially supports IE 6 or later on the PC, as well as Firefox and Safari on a Mac. Free to use.

  22. Online desktop that looks like a local computer lets you access all your personal data within any browsers: Desktoptwo
    Desktoptwo is a free web-based desktop that imitates the look, feel and functionality of a local computer, all contained within one browser window and fully accessible from any Internet-connected device. Desktoptwo can contain all of your personal information, programs and applications in one location. Desktoptwo offers you 1GB storage, an mp3 player, an RSS
  23. reader and also a website editor. Free to use.

  24. Web-based tool that converts PDF files in text files: PDF Text Online
    PDF Text Online is a service that converts PDF files in text files. PDF Text Online handles all fonts and languages (including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and more) and you don't need to download or install anything on your computer, as it is completely web-based. PDF Text Online is still in beta, and uses Ajax technology. The EULA for PDF Text Online gives this service the right to turn your text over to third parties. Also, by downloading anything (including, presumably, your own text) you certify that it is non-proprietary. Free to use.

  25. Web-based application for streaming mp3 audio files to any web browser on any computer: Portable Playlist
    With Portable Playlist you can view or listen to your portable playlist from any computer, anywhere. Portable Playlist is a free web-based application for streaming mp3 audio files, that can be accessed through any web browser on any computer with internet access. The website interface incorporates a selection of tools that help you to manage files found in various locations across the web. You can store URLs to offsite mp3 files, subscribe to podcasts, create and edit playlists or find media files using the built-in Blogdigger search. No audio files are hosted at the website, so you need to have them stored somewhere else in the Web. Portable Playlist is a free service.

  26. online backup service for your iTunes music libraryincluding playlists: MP3tunes Locker
    The MP3tunes Locker gives you unlimited online storage to back-up your entire personal music collection, including your playlists. You can play your music collection and playlists in iTunes and anywhere you have an Internet connection. The Basic MP3tunes Locker is free to use and includes webloading, sideloading, MP3tunes Oboe Software Suite, and streaming inside iTunes on the Internet at a medium quality bit-rate (56k). The Premium MP3tunes Locker is $39.95 per year and includes back-up with unlimited storage, syncing, webloading, sideloading, the MP3tunes Oboe Software Suite, and streaming iTunes at a high quality bit-rate (192k).

  27. Put a sticky note on any web page to keep track of the web sites you are interested in: MyStickies
    MyStickies is a web-based service which gives you the ability to put a sticky note on any web page your browser can visit. When you come back to the page, your sticky note is still there, where you left it. This enables you to remember what was important about the page you are on. Along with the ability to put sticky notes on web pages, MyStickies offers a powerful interface to browse, search, sort and edit your sticky notes from any computer that has internet access. MyStickies is only compatible with Mozilla Firefox. Free to use.

  28. Save text notes on the Web, classify them according to tags and share them with others: iKnolio
    iKnolio is a service that helps you save text notes on the Web. You can classify your notes according to tags, make them public or private, search them and add filters. You may publish/make your notes for other users and also you can read all the information written for others by your friends.Everything is stored in the same place where you have the access from all over the world via Internet. Free to use.

  29. PayPal worldwide money transfer service alternative: iKobo
    iKobo is a PayPal alternative. iKobo is a money transfer service that allows you to "make purchases, withdraw cash, or receive money from anyone, anywhere in the world." With just a few steps, registered users can receive payments or transfers directly to their "iKard". The iKard is nothing else but a physical reloadable Visa debit card that is usable anywhere Visa is accepted. iKobo charges a small fee for every transfer made as well as for drawing cash out of automated teller machines. Free to sign-up.

  30. Mobile-based electronic payment system: Text Pay Me
    If you live in the US you no longer need to be in front of your PC to send an electronic payment. By using your own credit card you can pre-load your TextPayMe account and start paying services and people by sending them money directly from your mobile phone. To make a payment: take out your mobile phone, send a text message, and answer a phone call. That's it. TextPayMe mobile payment solution works with any phone that can send SMS text messages. There are no additional applications to install. Works only in the US across all major carriers. Free to sign-up and free to beta users. Later TextPayMe will charge $0.15 + 1.35 % for each deposit and auto-debit operation performed as well as $ 0.50 for each withdrawal from TextPayMe to your bank account.

  31. Rip DVDs onto your hard drive (tutorial): How to rip a DVD
    Elliot Back has put together this tutorial that gives step-by-step instructions on how to copy (rip) a DVD onto your computer. With easily-understood instructions and screenshots, this page is a quick and effective way to learn how to turn your DVDs into video files you can watch on your computer without the original DVD.

  32. Utility for Windows that enables you to remove the Microsoft "Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications" tool: RemoveWGA
    RemoveWGA is a utility for Windows that enables you to remove the Microsoft "Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications" tool, which connects to Microsoft servers every time you boot. Basically, Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications sends information to Microsoft to make sure that you have a legit copy of Windows. Nonetheless, connecting to Microsoft brings security issues for corporate networks, and privacy issues for everyone. It is also unclear which information are transmitted, despite Microsoft's official clarifications. Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications is different from Windows Genuine Advantage Validation: RemoveWGA only removes the notification part and does not touch the Validation part. RemoveWGA is compatible with Windows XP. Free download.

Robin Good -
Readers' Comments    
2008-06-24 09:39:30


I discovered a Memopal ( "cutting edge solution for online

They merged online backup, online storage and file sharing services into one product.

2007-03-24 02:52:03


Take your applications, settings and data with you on any device, and run on any PC. How? Use Mojopac!

MojoPac is a technology that transforms your iPod or USB Hard Drive or Flash drive into a portable and private PC. Just install MojoPac on any USB 2.0 compliant storage device, upload your applications and files, modify your user settings and environment preferences, and take it with you everywhere.

Every time you plug your MojoPac-enabled device into any Windows XP PC , MojoPac automatically launches your environment on the host PC. Your communications, music, games, applications, and files are all local and accessible. And when you unplug the MojoPac device, no trace is left behind – your information is not cached on the host PC..
Protection of IT Policies
Power Supply
Personal Preferences
iPod Liberation
Painless PC Sharing
PC Resurrection

The Mojo Experience

Using MojoPac is exactly as if your MojoPac iPod or USB storage device is an ultra portable Windows XP PC.

Your experience using Mojopac is exactly as if you are using an ultra portable PC (your MojoPac device) and docking it to a computer (the Host PC you are plugged into).

Your MojoPac PC is running from your portable device, but it is borrowing the resources (screen, processor, CD/DVD drives, internet connection, printers, etc.) of the Host PC. In other words, MojoPac is your real PC (your applications, settings, data), and any computer it is connected to is being used as a utility to run MojoPac.

Who is it for? Everyone!!

MojoPac delivers portable, private and personal computing to everyone!
Depending upon your daily life and work, you will have different uses for MojoPac, if you are a Professional, a Parent, a Student or a Gamer, we have got the Mojo for you

2007-01-05 23:44:02


There is an excellent website for online backup information, news and articles. Check it out here:

This site lists more than 400 online backup companies and ranks the top 25 on a monthly basis.


posted by Robin Good on Friday, January 5 2007, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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